A friend who’s an avid reader and is about to pick up the pen again suggested that I write about finding time to work during summer while the kids are on vacation. Yeah, it’s a good topic. I’m just not sure I’m a model of balance and productivity. The goal is to keep my groove going of writing and research with both girls around and needing rides, meals and attention. The reality is that I sometimes have to fight for use of my computer. I don’t get to kick back on the couch with my feet up, laptop in place and have the magic happen because the TV is on. Previously long stretches of quiet are broken up by requests for sleep overs and food. (How is it that they are always hungry?)
I managed to ignore everyone long enough this weekend to start a new poem and edit a piece I’d half forgotten about but am really liking. This poetry session was interrupted by Izzy coming in to show me her new skirt and admire her adorable self in my black boots. I think she tried on every pair of shoes I own. We then moved on to her plans for volunteering at a local hospital and got her signed up for a CPR class. By midnight we were contemplating making pancakes, but ultimately succumbed to laziness and bed.
So this was all great. These are the moments you hope for as the parent of a teenager. These are moments you can’t plan. I’m convinced that being available for your teen means being open to this kind of spontaneity. And I love Izzy’s company. But I can’t help but wonder if the muse sees connecting with one’s child in such a radiant light. Did I lose a line? An image? My chance at eternal greatness and profundity?
Yeah. Probably not. But I have a kid who loves me and when she was little, I think she actually did believe my claims of genius. I was starting to write the words–maybe that’s enough. But it’s not. I need both of these things in my life. I just need the flexibility and persistence to swing my focus from black boots with a little skirt to the grand search for an abstract, yet concrete version of poetic Truth. Maybe I’ll go back to trapeze lessons to build up those muscles.